Munster too good for Leinster

Date published: December 27 2014

Munster made it a home and away double over Leinster in the Guinness PRO12 as they beat their visitors 28-13 at Thomond Park on Friday.

The first-half was not littered with points, with only one try coming courtesy of CJ Stander, as Munster gained a five-point lead at the break in the push for top spot.

The second-half brought a quick try, Munster’s Andrew Conway getting it as he neatly sprinted through bodies to go over. Dave O’Callaghan’s first try for Munster followed minutes after Leinster’s Darragh Fanning, as the home side asserted their dominance.

Leinster hit back through Shane Jennings who got his side’s only try of the afternoon with ten minutes to go, but the evening belonged to Munster who moved to the top of the league.

Ian Keatley opened proceedings with a penalty after just three penalties, though Ian Madigan levelled soon after in an action packed half.

The opening was slightly scrappy, but the game opened up with both sides forming promising attacks. Tommy O’Donnell found himself just two metres short of the try line, and after a heavy push from the hosts, the temporarily shirtless Stander went over under bodies, with the visiting defence seemingly fail to pick him up.

Keatley missed the conversion, but Munster continued their pressure as they went in search of a second. Felix Jones was at the heart of one attack as he pushed the side that started the day in third, well into the oppositions 22, though Leinster were able to force themselves a penalty to relieve the pressure.

Madigan added another penalty, before Keatley brought back the five point lead with another penalty. Madigan’s final effort of the half was wide, as Munster went in 11-6 to the good.

Just four second half minutes had gone before the Munster had their second try. It came courtesy of Conway, as the winger burst onto the ball, finishing off another pacey attack from the home side, whilst Keatley made no mistake from the conversion.

Fanning was issued with a yellow card after 53 minutes, and Munster made his side pay as they threw more points onto the scoreboard.

Another successful Keatley penalty was the result of the yellow card, before the third try of the evening came via O’Callaghan. Following a maul, he nipped through a gap in the defence before diving over the line, Keatley again adding the extras to extend the advantage to 28-6.

Leinster attempted to reduce the arrears as they made strides towards the try line, and finally got over it through Jennings. A lengthy attack saw Jennings freed down the left, and he touched down to allow Madigan to add the extra two points.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Tries: Stander, Conway, Dave O’Callaghan
Con: Keatley 2
Pen: Keatley 3

For Leinster:
Try: Jennings
Con: Madigan
>Pen: Madigan 2
Yellow card: Fanning (54 mins)

Munster: 15 Felix Jones (c), 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Pat Howard, 12 Denis Hurley, 11 Ronan O’Mahony, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Tommy O’Donnell, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Billy Holland, 4 Donnacha O’Callaghan, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Duncan Casey, 1 John Ryan.
Replacements: 16 Kevin O’Byrne, 17 Eusebio Gui